Spring 2019 Mellon Forum on the Urban Environment: "Locating Politics"
That politics is spatial, and that space is never neutral, today, seems to us at least, a given. And yet, the where of politics, the question of its privileged localizations or sites of practice, never quite seems resolved. A few years ago, a protracted moment of global insurrection, from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, seemed to offer a definitive answer. Occupying public space, holding it, and disrupting circulation seemed momentarily not only capable of toppling ruling powers, but of constituting political collectivity anew. But, the ‘movement of the squares’ was not only beaten back with coercive force, it was overtaken at scales and sites of politics beyond its reach.
"Locating Politics" takes up the rise and fall of recent uprisings as a springboard for examining a broader inventory and longer trajectory of spaces of contestation. We question the historical and emergent topologies of politics and their changing relations to race, migration, indigeneity, coloniality, and crisis. We ask how histories of sites of conflict, ranging from houses and streets to camps and prisons, might offer us not just understandings of different locations of politics, but of the overturning and re-bounding of the very limits of the political. The term location suggests both place (locus) and relational position, and it is to this intersection that this Forum speaks—where and with whom do we act politically today?
Jaskiran Dhillon, The New School and Candis Callison, Pathy Distinguished Visitor in Canadian Studies / March 27 / 12pm / SoA South Gallery
Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, Barnard College / April 17 / 12pm / SoA South Gallery
The Spring 2019 Mellon Forum is organized by Princeton Mellon Fellows Nasser Abourahme and Noam Shoked. The Forum is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional support from the Humanities Council, Center for Collaborative History, Program in American Studies, Program in Judaic Studies, Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, and the Department of Art & Archaeology. Events are free and open to the public.